Besides the beach and the constant need to lather factor 50 on, Alicante hides an outstanding culinary scene with some of the country’s best restaurants.
There could be two reasons why you’ve heard of Alicante before. Either your grandmother vacations in Benidorm (alongside a heard of other overly tanned retired tourists who like to bask in the sun all year round), or it’s that destination that pops up when you’re searching for cheap European flights with no particular preference of destination. What you might perhaps not know is that as well as having around 300 days a year of unequivocal sunshine, Alicante is home 16 Michelin star restaurants…and yet finding a café that serves oat milk is a whole ordeal. Contrasts, right?
In no particular order, here are some of Alicante’s best places to eat and drink (and no, not all are Michelin star but they probably all ought to be).
Imagine going to a live performance, one in which you have to make your way around four different environments to get your food served in unexpected ways and you’ll have some idea of what Espacio Montoro is all about. With a waiting list that can span well over 6 months (get your reservations in early amigos), Espacio Montoro ranks as Alicante’s most innovative dining experience.
You can chose from three different menus, one that tempts your sense of space, one focused on experience and a final exciting one that tackles your senses.
Monastrell is awesome for a few reasons, but one of the big ones is the view. Nestled amongst the marina, Monastrell did once have a Michelin star, but now prefers to opt for a more informal dining experience guided by chef María José San Román.
With a particular focus on the sustainable, Monastrell embodies the mediterranean lifestyle in a menu of authored dishes amongst Alicante’s most elegant sailing boats.
Finca Santa Luzia
Finca Santa Luzia is comprised of a large country-side house (also known as Finca) decorated with touches of green and elaborate tiles. Around it is a large garden, separated into designated dining and drinking zones, with its spectacular green-house-like space reserved for dining.
It isn’t solely the setting that makes this place exciting; the food is a combination of all-time classics of the Spanish culinary scene, mixed with touches of high-end elaboration.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the only three Michelin star restaurant in the province of Alicante. Quique DaCosta orchestrates a 40 tapas menu that combines his expertise in Valencian cuisine, organised in a series of acts which the Chef has been developing and evolving since 2011.
Quique himself has taken a very philosophical approach to his cooking. In attempts at crafting beauty beyond the aesthetics of a dish, DaCosta works with produce as the main component of his creations, often playing around with unique technique and combinations to elaborate a sort of beauty for the palate.
This Alicante classic has the most impressive skyline views of the city and is the perfect place to watch the night fall. Mediterranean in essence, the menu of La Ereta is designed by Dani Frias’ concept of cocina Alicantina.
The whole magic happens in a timber-framed hut amidst a park perched on top of the city center’s enveloping mountain, making it a perfect pit-stop to experience the city from above.
A little further away from the Alicante city, the two star Michelin restaurant of L’Escaleta counts with the leading of Kiko Moya y Alberto Redrado. Located in the interiors of the province, L’Escaleta combines wines and delicacies in a well-crafted tasting menu.
With its 40th anniversary coming up, 10 very special dinners are being organised (from March until December, every first Wednesday of the month), where the Chefs will invite other culinary masterminds to develop signature dishes for the night.
You can also take the experience home. See here.
El Portal is located in the drop dead city centre and has an ever-changing decoration which is always exuberant and mysterious – and we absolutely love it. Equally ideal as a place to grab a drink or to savour one of their crafted menus, this corner restaurant has been one of the leading the high-end gourmet hotspots in Alicante for several years now.
Just a few streets down from el Portal, visiting Terre makes you forget that you’re in a coastal town and instead resembles a big city restaurant – we blame its tall ceilings. Great starters, a very urban atmosphere and exceptional wines make this a trendy hotspot for business dinners, but equally great to lounge at with family and friends whilst delighting in some grilled octopus and a glass of Rioja.
Not to mention, Terre gloats of a beautiful open kitchen, meaning you always can get a glimpse behind the scenes of the culinary action. Oh, and there’s also the occasional DJs, playing a mix of tunes to keep your evening entertained. Seriously, what else could you possibly want?